Did you kill Larry King?

On February 12 one troubled teenage boy ended the life of another with two shots to the head. Lawrence King, 15, paid the ultimate price for being effeminate and gay. Did you help pull the trigger?

According to the Los Angeles Times

The anti-gay taunts and slurs that Larry endured from his male peers apparently had been constant, as routine for him as math lessons and recess bells. The stinging words were isolating.

The shots came from a gun in the hands of one of Larry’s tormentors, Brandon McInerney, 14 who spent his youth in a
deeply disturbed homelife. Again according to the Times

His friends say the verbal cruelty persisted
for months, and grew worse after the slightly built Larry pushed back by “flirting” with some of his mockers. One of them was Brandon, who seethed over it, the friends say.

It would be easy to look at the troubled lives of these teens, deal with the criminality of the murder, and consign the entire tragedy to the dustbin of “yet another teen is killed.” America is in the midst of an epidemic of youth murders, from school shootings to gang warfare. Never before have our youth been so at risk.

Larry’s death, however, draws us to look at the apparent reason for Brandon’s horrible act – his inability to tolerate the existence of an effeminate gay boy. It doesn’t take a great deal of speculation to wonder where that intolerance came from.

When Fred Phelps wanders the country inflaming hatred toward gays, when the Republican candidate for President embraces that homophobic rantings of televangelist John Hagee, when attempts to teach tolerance of gays in public schools are met with sloganeering and hatemongering by religious fanatics, it is no wonder that Brandon thought it entirely proper to kill Larry.

Most who will read this will exempt themselves as tolerant and even advocates of gay rights. Good for you. But for a large portion of even quietly tolerant Americans, the blood of Larry stains your hands as well.

The attitudes of most of us are changing about gay issues yet there is more to go than has been travelled so far. Look at your own attitudes about an effeminate boy or masculine girl. How often do you let the “faggot” slurs and jokes slide without comment? Would you be thankful if your child came to you with the revelation that they were gay?

As a gay man I am not looking for tolerance and I am asking for more than equality. I say unless each person, regardless of their nature or personal characteristics is able to express themselves without fear of taunting, ridicule or death, the American dream is unfulfilled.

Unless you act to question those who marginalize the Larry Kings of your world, the girls and women who dare to be “butch” and refuse to fit into a narrow definition of gender, then I say you are helping to pull the trigger just as surely as if you stood behind the Brandons of the world.


  1. Sandra Price

    Defining the problem is not necessarily a solution. Flapsaddle is good at defining just about everything but never has a solution to anything. Flapsaddle is a marshmellow floating on a cup of cocoa. Someday she might even get into the core of a discussion. Be careful, she plays a mean game.

  2. ekaton

    “the fallacy of the limited or restricted alternative”

    Thanks, TJ. I couldn’t come up with the term at the time. Gotta commit that one to memory.

    — Kent Shaw

  3. Flapsaddle

    An excellent call on a common error – the fallacy of the limited or restricted alternative:

    This is never a logical argument. Never.…but it is a very popular one with those who would have you believe that there is only their way or the highway.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  4. ekaton

    “…if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem…”

    “If you are not with us you are with the terrorists.”

    This is never a logical argument. Never.

    Having said that, I agree with the remainder of your post.

    — Kent Shaw

  5. Bluesman2007

    I just wanted to add that every time society ignores a problem wishing it would go away, or worse, not even thinking about it, it will come back and bite us in the ass. That’s what’s happening to our society today ON EVERY FRONT. It’s all falling apart and we pound our fists and wonder why. We ignore our impoverished youth on the one hand and then act angry, shocked and saddened by the rise in gun violence and gang violence and shootings at our schools something completely unheard of when I was a kid growing up. That’s only one example and, again, I won’t spam you with more but you get the idea. I hope.

  6. Bluesman2007

    Sorry folks. I have to weigh on the side of Phil. What he’s basically saying, and I agree, is that if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem. It’s really as simple as that.

    Since no problem EVER goes away by ignoring it, proactivity is absolutely necessary. I don’t think he’s suggesting you hang out at the airport with flowers and “be kind to gays ’cause it’s the right thing to do”.

    But let’s get to the root cause of the hatred rather than get all defensive about Phil’s point. (I could go on for page after page about our general failure to get to root causes of any profound social issue rather than devising thousands of band-aid approaches to everything but I’ll save that rant for another time).

    That intolerance that young man had leading to his killing another teen is a disgraceful, huge, black pussie mark on our society (yes ALL OF US ARE responsible in a way because we utterly fail and refuse to acknowledge how and under what circumstances this hatred came about to begin with – how it’s perpetuated – how our children learn it and from whom they learn it. Shall we?

    In my humble opinion I think we can all agree with the basic premise that babies aren’t born hating gays (or anyone or anything for that matter), correct? So where did they learn that? Who taught them that? Why did they unquestioningly accept that? If my rhetorical questions don’t lead you directly to the answer, then I’ve failed in my mission.

    Let’s face it. The spoken word is a very powerful thing. Being proactive on the issue need only be a casual conversation about negative attitudes towards as simply hurtful. It may be a general discussion about parents’ roles in drawing their own perverted pictures of life on a newly born child’s clean slate of a mind. That child accepts what their parents say as gospel. They have no reason not to and certainly not the intellect yet. So they grow up with those attitudes not really understanding their nature and never questioning their veracity in much the same way they learn by rote to look both ways before crossing the street.

    Let’s face it folks. A lot of bullshit gets passed thoughtlessly from one generation to another and that bullshit perpetuates myth and lies and hatred and, as in this case, death. It didn’t just pop up yesterday. So unless and until we’re willing to take a good hard HONEST *gasp* look at ourselves and our own attitudes, we are truly screwed (that’s a technical term).

  7. Sandra Price

    Look Jeffers. I am emotionally involved with individual freedoms. My mind is open to the gross actions of the bigots in America. Everybody believes abortions are wrong but it is a problem when the bigots demand federal legislation. It is the same with homosexuality. There is no moral judgment on this when the bigots demand legislation against the gay life. I realize that a lot of people believe deeply that black Americans are inferior. I do not, and have worked since the 1960s to try and stop it. None of this should be a political view but with the bigots, it has become a terrible movement. I was a 50 year Republican until I went on line and met the bigots.

    You expect me to ignore these people? I have tried to take them one on one for years and had gangs turn on me like you would not believe. You fight your battles and I will fight mine.

    Evil can be found when gangs move in on people they do not like or respect. I’ve been up to my arse in gangs and will never ignore these bigots EVER!!! I left CHB years ago when I was told I was the Whore of Babylon. I will not smile and nod when I run into the bigots. This is not the only site where I have my opinions in print and I know the only way to rid my life of the Flapsaddles of the world is to change my name, my email and simply find or start up my own forum. Sitting around to get along with people is not my style.

    I will fight until my last breath to expose the bigots who wander around sites like this one and cause trouble.

  8. Flapsaddle

    It’s like playing poker: The best way to flush out someone who is betting on a pair of deuces is to call and raise.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  9. old_curmudgeon

    As the symphony swells, a tear rolls down my cheek. The voice behind the curtain quietly intones:

    “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.” – Nietzsche

  10. Sandra Price

    Jeffers I will not play when my posts here bring on replies from people I’ve known for years to be unable to discuss politics and will continue to discuss the messenger. I’m out of here as this poster is simply out to discredit me. There are no opinions from Flapsaddle. Without my being here, Flapsaddle will leave.

    I have made many enemies on Conservative sites and I have tried to expose their bigotry and have paid a price. I have serious work to do politically and I will leave Flapsaddle to CHB. It only takes one or two spammers to destroy the subjects we are discussing. I simply do not have the time to repeatedly have to put up with some idiot who has no opinions of their own. Flapsaddle will get bored with CHB and leave. I will check into the blogs to read what honest and caring people have to write.

    If Flapsaddle had any opinions to offer, I would stay but this is not the case. This is the third name for this poster and that is game playing.

  11. Flapsaddle

    Are you afraid to let the others here read and reach their own conclusions as to what I have said?

    Again, posting even a single link would establish the truthfulness of your claim, would it not?

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  12. Jeffers

    If you leave every playground where you don’t like all the people, or disagree with some on particular issues, you will never help change the world.

    I appears that you left the Republican party for such a reason.

    Everyone who believes homosexuality is wrong is not an evil person.

    People who believe abortion is wrong may have a valid point to make.

    Open-mindedness must work both ways, or it is itself hypocritical.

    If I refused to associate with people who have different political views, in this state I’d be home a lot.

    Sandra, don’t go away mad, open your own mind.
    – Jeffers

    Peace without freedom is still slavery.

  13. Sandra Price

    Under another name, Flapsaddle has contributed a lot of time and space to several disreputable sites. I will not site them here as it would send many of you into a rage.

    I despise hypocrites and would rather not be involved in CHB if this two-faced person continues to follow my posts with insults. It is an old argument and we are not on the same side in any way.

    I want some improvement in the government and I am willing to work with a positive team and leave the playground outside. I want CHB to be the successful forum/site possible and not drag such negativity around as Flapsaddle has done to other forums. I am the target and again, I will stop my association with CHB.

    Between now and November I have a very busy schedule and will not play in the playground.